My Road to Direct Sales Success (Originally written June 2008)
My phone has stopped ringing & it’s actually a good thing!!! No, it’s not that I no longer get calls from people looking for our awesome products, but NO DEBT COLLECTORS ARE CALLING MY HOME ANYMORE!!! Let me explain:
It’s been a very long, difficult road for us. I lost a job back in 2003. With it went all of our health benefits, a van & gas card, a sizeable income, and a lot of my self-confidence & pride. About 4 months prior to that I had attended my 1st Tastefully Simple party & thought, “I really see some potential here.” Unfortunately, the job I had wouldn’t allow me to become a Direct Sales Consultant at that time. So, when I lost that job in August, although it was absolutely devastating, it opened a wonderful window for me. A month later, in Sept. 2003, I joined TS.
In the beginning, although my business was growing, we began to struggle financially. Everything started piling up. And I mean BIG. I began having medical issues (which I now look back on as probably a near-nervous breakdown due to stress), so those bills started piling up on top of our regular household bills, and a HUGE snowball effect started to take place.
I was living in a state of stress, fear, & depression. But I knew that I was on the right path with this business. I kept working on it. EVERYDAY. I thought, “If I do something EVERYDAY to move this business forward, then it will work.”
In December 2004, I was sitting at my retail job that I was holding thinking, “There HAS to be a better way to spend my time to make more money for our family”. Of course the stress of the holidays didn’t help…my kids were 9 & 11 that year, and expected Christmas as usual. For days I stressed over what could be the answer. Suddenly, as though the “lightbulb” actually went off, it hit me: “You already have the answer: MORE PARTIES!” I began filling my calendar for January…although it made me physically sick to make those phone calls, I kept going until I found 10 hosts for January.
I attended Leadership Conference in Puerto Rico in January 2005. It was SO hard for me to go…I have very bad social anxiety, and for me to leave home & go on this trip all by myself was really tough. I went because I earned enough points to go for free, and because I knew it would help move my business forward. I would call my husband several times a day sobbing in tears telling him I couldn’t do this, and he kept reassuring me that I could, (plus he told me that I was in Paradise while he was in a blizzard in Pittsburgh, so he didn’t have much sympathy for me!) Jill, our Founder and CEO, said something at that Conference that put everything into perfect perspective for me. She said “Tastefully Simple works.” As simple as that. It works.
So, I came home ON FIRE! More determined than ever to make it a success. While I kept plugging away at my direct sales business, our finances were still in shambles. More medical emergencies added to the mess & things were spiraling out of control. Throughout 2005 & 2006, I went into what I refer to as “survival mode”. I couldn’t sleep, I was stressed constantly, and I was miserable. But I did what I needed to survive, & I always put on a smile for my hosts & clients at parties. That was maybe one of the hardest things to do…I felt like I was a big fraud…telling everyone how great business was & recruiting people into the business, but knowing what a complete mess I really was. Throughout those years, we received constant foreclosure notices, had our cable, electricity, gas, phone, water, and internet, each shut off at one time or another. I would scrape together what I could to get one utility turned back on & the next month another was shut off. I had many times when I had to dig for change just to put gas in my car, or to go to the grocery store to get something for my kids for dinner. I borrowed money from every family member I could & cried to several of them on a daily basis on the phone. Outside of our family, I told no one about this.
My motto in survival mode became “FORWARD FOCUS, YOU CAN DO THIS!” I would repeat this phrase constantly in my head & aloud…while driving, showering, falling asleep, etc. It kept me from dwelling on the past & focusing on the future.
So, finally in the past year, things started to look a little brighter. We weren’t completely out of the mess, but I could see an end in sight. I promoted to Team Mentor in April 2007, and building a team really helped, not only financially, but it also gave me a bright spot in my day-to-day life…I could celebrate the victories of my team members, and cheer them on toward their dreams, and take the focus off of my problems. It seemed throughout 2007, I had a lot of ups & downs…both with my business & with our finances…always 2 steps forward, one step back, but I kept pushing ahead, keeping my eye on the end result I was looking for: to be out of debt.
Our phone throughout these years would ring CONSTANTLY. I would turn off the ringers before we went to bed because it would start ringing at about 7:30 from debt collectors, and it wouldn’t stop until around 10 at night. I began to despise that phone, but I realized when I picked it up to dial out I could actually make some money! Booking calls, host coaching calls, client care calls, none of those seemed so bad because the fear of not having an income was far scarier than the fear of calling to offer someone our awesome products & parties! I would also use the phone to listen to conference calls that HQ offered each week.
So, throughout the many conferences I’ve attended, coaching & trainings from HQ, & Jill’s “Simply Shine” book, I’ve learned 1 thing: DREAM IN DETAIL! I’ve dreamed of being out of debt & I’ve dreamed in such detail that I even had the title of this particular message that I’m now writing in my head for about 8 months now…just waiting for the right time to share the story! As I sit here & write this, I do it because yes, I AM SO PROUD, and because I hope it may touch someone else who may be experiencing doubt, stress, or uncertainty. I am especially proud to say that the Dennes now only have our mortgage & utilities to pay each month, and that all of my family members have been paid back their money and with MUCH thanks!
Once our debt was paid off, I didn’t slow down with my business. I just created new dreams & goals. Since I could finally do some fun stuff with our income, I treated my family to a pool (paid for with cash!), and this year we added a deck onto the pool, too.
I’m proud to say that I have been able to accomplish all of this with TS while only having to work 2-3 days a week outside of my home doing parties. In this business, you can earn a full time income with part time hours. You do not have to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply dream in detail, create a plan, and work it daily. Surround yourself with a support group of “motors” & stay away from the “anchors” in your life…they will drag you down while those motors will lift you up!
I can now promote this opportunity knowing full well that Tastefully Simple DOES work and can change lives…giving each person what THEY want, and that when you dream in detail & stick to the course you can do anything you set your mind to!
Kim Denne, Tastefully Simple Ind. Cons. & Sr. Team Mentor